An Aerial View of Geology.
Geology is thrilling. It's the story of the earth in all its splendor. It's an excitement that has always been hard to capture between the covers of a book.
In Over The Mountains, author/photographer Michael Collier has done just that. Collier is a geologist, a warm and vivid writer, an acclaimed aerial photographer, and an experienced pilot. He makes full use of all these skills to convey his passion for geology to the reader.
Collier flies his Cessna 180 to impossibly remote regions to find the places where the earth's secrets are revealed. He pilots the tiny plane up mountain faces, down into canyons, and across glaciers, hugging the terrain, looking for the perfect shot. Using the plane as a tripod, he steadies his camera and squeezes the shutter.
The photographs in Over The Mountains are among Collier's finest work. They are beautiful, works of art in any other context, but just as important is the wealth of detail they contain. Each one lays bare some aspect of the earth's geological underpinnings. To the photos, Collier has added his own crystal-clear interpretation of the landforms and the forces that created them.
Over The Mountains is an unforgettable geology field trip in the company of a knowledgeable and articulate guide. His passion for the subject is contagious; his point of view is unique. From the window of the little Cessna, the wonders of the earth come into sharp focus.
"The full-color photos in this volume are uniformly stunning and are expertly used by Collier to illustrate how mountains form, evolve, deteriorate, and die. Without reverting to textbook prose, the author covers the fundamentals of mountain geology: rock types, plate tectonics, and erosion, employing his photographs and illustrations to further explicate these principles. It is one thing to write about glaciers, fault zones, plateaus, erosion, alluvial fans, subduction, and volcanoes. It is altogether a higher level of accomplishment to render all of these aspects of geology in photographs as beautiful as they are informative. Collier has put his 50-year-old Cessna 180 and arsenal of photographic equipment to good use, spending thousands of hours in the cockpit, traveling to remote regions of the Earth, up mountain faces, down into canyons, constantly in search of the best shot. He has found many best shots, and readers will enjoy them all."
School Library Journal
"What might at first appear to be a high-quality "coffee table" book offers an invitation to inquiry in the classroom because of its great level of geologic detail. This book includes fabulous aerial photographs of real-world landscapes such as Denali, the San Andreas Fault, and Shenandoah. Photographs are explained via colorful diagrams and/or well-written descriptions… Students from elementary through college will go back to it again and again."
National Science Teacher's Association
"Writer/photographer Collier expresses his passion for geology through awe-inspiring aerial photographs that reveal how mountains were formed and modified across the eons of time. What is even more astounding is that he took the pictures while piloting his Cessna 180…His technical and clear prose conjures vivid scenes that set the imagination soaring…Who knew geology could be so enthralling…Buy for classroom use, reference in school and public libraries, or for anyone who has a love of "mountain majesties" or photographic art."